Overtraining Syndrome in Athletes

Overtraining syndrome frequently occurs in athletes who are training for competition or a specific event and train beyond the body's ability to recover. Athletes often exercise longer and harder so they can improve. But without adequate rest and recovery, these training regimens can backfire, and actually decrease performance.

Conditioning requires a balance between overload and recovery.

Too much overload and/or too little recovery may result in both physical and psychological symptoms of overtraining syndrome.

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy

  • Mild leg soreness, general aches, and pains

  • Pain in muscles and joints

  • Sudden drop in performance

  • Insomnia

  • Headaches

  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)

  • Decrease in training capacity/intensity

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Depression

  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport

  • Decreased appetite

  • Increased incidence of injuries.

  • A compulsive need to exercise

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